There is a growing range of industrial minerals that offers both metallurgical and non-metallurgical values with strategic importance in rapidly developing industrial and commercial applications. Such high growth markets face the risk of short term supply interruption and exert competitive pressure on standard applications.
Specialty Minerals Focus
Detailed understanding of end-use applications is critical in the assessment of the economic potential of specialty minerals projects and optimisation of the product range for existing operations.
While processing of base and precious metals deploy off-the-shelf technology solutions most specialty minerals require a tailored design of processes and specialty equipment, i.e. adapted to high purity requirements or trace concentrations.
The focus moves from the principal minerals of economic interest to new minerals and/or complex mineralogy providing rare element carriers in demand, but less experience in processing.
Typical examples are lithium bearing minerals (spodumene, petalite, lepidolite, mica etc.), important in energy storage systems, quartz for silicon production, aluminum sources for high purity alumina applications (kaolin) and rutile for titanium metal.
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